Another rewarding but exhausting couple of days! We completed a two day book sprint in Kew earlier this week focussing on developing more new content for the release of the next edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook that is being funded by The National Archives, the British Library, and Jisc. Really pleased with the outputs and progress we made.
This is now the second book sprint we have held and we have been able to build on the sterling work at the first sprint held in October last year.
A group of 9 people Neil Beagrie (Charles Beagrie Ltd), Glenn Cumisky (British Museum), Matt Faber (Jisc), Stephen Grace (University of East London), Alex Green (The National Archives), William Kilbride (DPC), Gareth Knight (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Sharon McMeekin (DPC), and Paul Wheatley (DPC), met up over two days to progress sections of the content for the new “ Getting Started” and “Organisational Activities” sections of the Handbook (as identified in the Draft Outline of the 2nd Edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook). We also progressed some sub-sections of “Technical Solutions and Tools” left over from Book Sprint 1. The venue for the sprint was kindly provided by The National Archives in their Kew building.
We completed draft sections for:
Creating digital materials
Acquisition and appraisal
Retention and review
Metadata and documentation
We covered more topics than the first sprint so were occasionally thinly spread: as a cautionary note we may need to review our draft content carefully to ensure the final outputs have the breadth and depth of perspective we aim for: what I have read so far has been terrific although inevitably it will need some more content adding and final polishing.
The revision has been guided by the user feedback and consultation (see Report on the Preparatory User Consultation on the 2nd Edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook) in short to keep the Handbook text practical, concise, and accessible with more detail available in the case studies and further reading.
We used a different tool from book sprint 1 and successfully adopted Google Docs for our collaborative writing.
A two-day book sprint was very intense but few could have spared more time away from the workplace, and a tight-deadline helped everyone focus on the tasks in hand.
We followed a process of scoping contents for a specific section, brainstorming key points for inclusion, writing, and then review.
Participants were also able to see the substantial emerging Handbook content that is already in the DPC content management system together with the excellent illustrations re-used with permission from digitalbevaring.dk. In addition Google Docs was pre-populated with any relevant text from the previous Handbook, marked in red so it was easily identifiable for review, retention, deletion, amendment or addition/replacement as needed. The Google Docs were also pre-populated with all case studies and external resources relevant to those sections identified during desk research for the new edition of the Handbook.
The after work drinks in the Tap on the Line and group dinner at Café Mamma were enjoyed by all and allowed everyone to relax and socialise outside the event itself. Next time I will try to remember to take photos for the report!
In June the draft text will be the focus for detailed editorial review, additions, arrangement, proof-reading and input to the DPC content management system. Based on the 1st book sprint that will be at least a two month process after which we will look for peer review to be completed by around the end of September.
It is great to see so much more of the new Handbook there in preliminary form after the sprint. With the contents of the first sprint, supplementary work, and its peer review, there is now substantial draft content emerging for the 2nd edition of the Handbook.
Last month the new series of Digital Preservation Coalition Technology Watch Reports passed 118,842 downloads: these are downloads by real users excluding robots etc.
The new series was launched publicly in February 2012 with Preserving Email by Chris Prom and there are now 10 titles published since that date. All have proved very popular: Preserving Email still heads the group with over 29,000 downloads (but has been available for longest), followed by Digital Forensics and Preservation with over 25,000, and Preserving Moving Picture and Sound with over 15,000.
The reports are published by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) in association with Charles Beagrie Ltd as editors and Neil Beagrie as Principal Investigator and managing editor of the series. The series is intended as an advanced introduction to specific issues for those charged with establishing or running services for long term access. They identify and track developments in IT, standards and tools which are critical to digital preservation activities. All are released as peer-reviewed open-access publications after a preview period of exclusive access to DPC members.
The DPC Technology Watch Report Series publications are freely available online from the DPC website at: http://www.dpconline.org/advice/technology-watch-reports